Allison Guess

Visiting Research Scholar, Term 2023-2024
Department of African American Studies
Office Phone
004 Morrison Hall

Dr. Allison Guess is a Visiting Research Scholar in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University and the incoming Iris W. Davis Endowed Chair Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Bowdoin College. Previously Guess was an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College. In 2021, Guess was a CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Research Fellow in Harlem, NY. She earned a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences (Human Geography) at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Named a “rising Latino studies scholar,” in 2020, Guess is a former IUPLR Fellow (Inter-University Program for Latino Research) funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Guess’ forthcoming manuscript titled, Plotting on the Plot in Hispaniola: The 1521 Christmas Rebellion as a 16th century (Dis)continuous Black Land Story and the Insistent Unsettling Crisis of the New World, explains and defines Black people’s specific relationships to land in the Americas by further developing the category “Black Land” through the crucial study of late 15th and 16th century Hispaniola. Guess has carried out her archival research on the 1521 Christmas Rebellion and Black rebel life in late 15th and 16th century Hispaniola, since 2016 while the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute hosted her. As a lifelong theorist and practitioner of Black Land, Guess took up the formal study of the phenomena starting in 2010 as an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh.

Her published scholarly work can be found in Women’s Studies Quarterly (2021)Deterritorializing/Reterritorializing: Critical Geography of Educational Reform (2017), American Quarterly (2016), Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society (2014), and Departures in Critical Qualitative Research (2014). 

Guess is currently working on several book projects, in addition to the manuscript mentioned above, the other is provisionally titled, Mama Tingó: Rebel Land Defender. Guess is also at work on another project conditionally titled, Catching a Case of Freedom: Places, Practices, and Possibilities of Black Revolt in 16th-17th Century Hispaniola. These two projects pinpoint instances of freedom, struggle, and resistance carried out by Black People in La Española. Guess is a founding member of Antipod: A Radical Geography Podcast and Sound Collective. She earned a BA in Hispanic Languages and Literature and in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Outside of academia, Guess adores gardening and cooking, and she collaborates with many Black-led land justice, environmental, and food sovereignty initiatives locally and transnationally.